Trekkie99

The Future of Lego Space. (opinions, ideas, discussion)

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12 hours ago, astral brick said:

Considering the current catalogue's situation, I am afraid that you would land, at most, in a galaxy far, far away.

:laugh: yeah, looks like ...

But: We are allowed to add/change ... mod TLC's models, right? The fiction over science thing. I took Emmet's dream house (converted to the space house) and ... made it twice the size in length and a little wider (only 2 studs ...). Added a comfortable bed, a shower, a kitchen, a bathroom, a door. Raised the walls a little. Kept the original look and feel as much as possible. Not done yet, but you know what? I'll depart comfortably to - the Moon. Or Mars. Or ... to a galaxy far, far away. And most certainly: >Way< beyond that :classic:

What I am trying to say is: This set simply made me jump back to space. I still do have the grey/blue/trans yellow sets for sure. But: I love what I can do - space wise - with what is available today.

All the best,
Thorsten

  

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On 7/18/2019 at 4:00 PM, astral brick said:

Given that it was a rhetorical question, it is saddening to notice that there are sci-fi elements everywhere but where they belong, id est Space. Although Mars Exploration sets are very nice, they represent the final nail in the coffin in relation to a hypothetical Space renaissance. In fact if even Lego City is now embracing "light" sci-fi elements in its catalogue, then there is truly no hope for a new Space line.

So the big picture is pretty clear, hard sci-fi is dedicated to Star Wars, and I can't help thinking of how many potential great Space sets will never see the light of the day because the designers don't have the chance to express their imagination, being forced to replicate pre-existing models taken from some movies.

Ya know, unless this year's Mars Exploration subtheme outperforms TLG's expectations, we shouldn't see another iteration of "City in Space" for another four years (i.e. arriving 2023). If you couple that presumption with the assurement that Disney won't be giving us another cinematic Star Wars installment until December 2022 (i.e. the start of the Benioff & Weiss trilogy), Lego could possibly be able to develop and release an all-new in-house Space theme of some sort for 2021/2022 before either of those two inhibiting factors come onto the scene. If such a theme were successful, 2023's Space subtheme for City could take the earthbound Spaceport route to avoid conflicting with future waves of this playtheme (depending on what shape it takes); otherwise, if weren't to live beyond a single wave within its debut year, that next iteration of "City in Space" could continue on towards the next frontier beyond Mars (or at least back to the Moon). :shrug_oh_well:

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14 hours ago, astral brick said:

I don't think that it can be classified as sci-fi, Nasa sets are based on real models. However the point of no return is seeing that even Lego Town/City went from reality - space shuttle sets - to light sci-fi designs.

I mean, what parts of the current City Space stuff would you consider "light sci-fi"? Because for the most part they just seem like slightly simplified or stylized versions of real-world technologies that have either already been developed or are currently being developed for the future.

The new wave of LEGO City Space sets' most futuristic subject matter consists of stuff like…

But notably, most of its sets depict launch or testing scenarios for this tech (much of which is already being tested on Earth), rather than depictions of an actual Mars setting. This is indicated not only by the presence of non-helmeted ground crew technicians in almost every set, but also by the box art of sets like 60225 which very plainly shows the LEGO City skyline in the background.

If the links above don't sate your curiosity, LEGO themselves put pictures of the technology that inspired these sets in the instruction manuals, just as they did with the Arctic sets back in 2000. And they even have a downloadable LEGO City Explorers app which, among other things, includes NASA videos showcasing some of the technologies that they are presently working on.

In general, a lot of this stuff that might seem futuristic is just LEGO keeping pace with the times. The space shuttle and Atlas V Rocket depicted in previous waves of LEGO City Space sets are no longer cutting edge — it's only logical that today's kids who have an interest in space exploration might learn more and be more excited by sets based on emerging developments in that field.

16 hours ago, astral brick said:

Given that I don't understand what is wrong with space opera, how many iterations have we seen of police or fire stations/trucks/cars? Anyway, past space themes have proved to be able to go beyond the dicotomy good guys/criminals and have shown multiple color schemes. So yes, there is life beyond blue, grey and yellow bricks.

There's nothing wrong with space opera — if there were then the Star Wars theme wouldn't still be around. But it's kind of annoying how often LEGO fans treat themes in the space opera, medieval fantasy, and pirate genres as though they have unique importance which mandates that that they must always be available on store shelves.

That concern rarely seems to extend to other science fiction or fantasy themes like Exo-Force, Agents, Power Miners, Atlantis, and Ninjago. Those themes are generally regarded by older AFOLs as frivolous or nonsensical kiddy stuff, and are only begrudgingly accepted as long as Pirates, Castle, and Space themes all actively exist alongside them.

It's telling that when the LEGO Pirates theme didn't get new sets in 2010, a lot of disparaging comments in topics like this and this were directed at themes like Power Miners, Atlantis, and Space Police. Not because anybody had any reason to think they were somehow PREVENTING designers from making new Pirates sets, but because in the eyes of Pirates fans no sci-fi or "action theme" could POSSIBLY be worth keeping around or introducing if the Pirates theme was not getting a second wave.

It lends the impression that any LEGO theme that didn't exist in the 80s is inherently inferior to those that did. As, might I add, do comments like this one:

15 hours ago, astral brick said:

Science over fiction, that is the lack of the ability to dream that I feared.

How exactly is LEGO lacking in "fiction" or "ability to dream" in its current lineup?

  • The LEGO Movie 2 has numerous wild and whimsical spaceships, wacky talking animals/food products, post apocalyptic settings, alien "plantimals", etc.
  • Ninjago continues to expand in imaginative new directions with stuff like an all-terrain land ship, fiery mummified snakes, and frozen samurai zombies.
  • Hidden Side shows a mundane, aging town haunted by otherworldly horrors that only a few heroic teenagers and their science professor can fight back against using cutting-edge technology.
  • Giant mecha continue to show up across so many different themes that people have started to believe that LEGO is obsessed with them.

None of this is stuff that's comfortably situated in the scope of real-world science or technology. So why are you acting like the lack of an unambiguous space theme is some indication that LEGO designers or kids lack "the ability to dream"?

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5 hours ago, Aanchir said:

I mean, what parts of the current City Space stuff would you consider "light sci-fi"?

It is light sci-fi because we were not able to get back to the moon in over 50 years, imagine going to Mars.

5 hours ago, Aanchir said:

If the links above don't sate your curiosity,

My curiosity of what exactly? As I said the last Lego City sets show nice models that, with some modifications, could be - or, better said, should be - part of a new Space line, their natural positioning. However Space fans are supposed to be happy with some Ninjago and Super Heroes aircrafts or Lego Movie spacecrafts and, of course, umpteenth replicas of Star Wars vehicles. Nothing wrong with those sets - actually, for instance, I love the fist shaped spaceship - however leftovers, weak echos of Space themes' former glories.  

5 hours ago, Aanchir said:

There's nothing wrong with space opera — if there were then the Star Wars theme wouldn't still be around. But it's kind of annoying how often LEGO fans treat themes in the space opera, medieval fantasy, and pirate genres as though they have unique importance which mandates that that they must always be available on store shelves.

Maybe because these themes represent the backbone of Lego? Perhaps, on a business perspective, because they should always be available on store shelves in order to be potentially bought both by newcomers and old customers, thus doubling the incomes?

5 hours ago, Aanchir said:

That concern rarely seems to extend to other science fiction or fantasy themes like Exo-Force, Agents, Power Miners, Atlantis, and Ninjago. Those themes are generally regarded by older AFOLs as frivolous or nonsensical kiddy stuff, and are only begrudgingly accepted as long as Pirates, Castle, and Space themes all actively exist alongside them.

Please see the previous reply.

5 hours ago, Aanchir said:

It's telling that when the LEGO Pirates theme didn't get new sets in 2010, a lot of disparaging comments in topics like this and this were directed at themes like Power Miners, Atlantis, and Space Police. Not because anybody had any reason to think they were somehow PREVENTING designers from making new Pirates sets, but because in the eyes of Pirates fans no sci-fi or "action theme" could POSSIBLY be worth keeping around or introducing if the Pirates theme was not getting a second wave.

But this is not the case that we are discussing, due to the fact that Star Wars line is actually preventing the release of another Space theme.

5 hours ago, Aanchir said:

None of this is stuff that's comfortably situated in the scope of real-world science or technology. So why are you acting like the lack of an unambiguous space theme is some indication that LEGO designers or kids lack "the ability to dream"?

Because flying towards the stars, preferably not while fighting a war, has always been the ultimate mankind dream.

8 hours ago, Digger of Bricks said:

Ya know, unless this year's Mars Exploration subtheme outperforms TLG's expectations, we shouldn't see another iteration of "City in Space" for another four years (i.e. arriving 2023). If you couple that presumption with the assurement that Disney won't be giving us another cinematic Star Wars installment until December 2022 (i.e. the start of the Benioff & Weiss trilogy), Lego could possibly be able to develop and release an all-new in-house Space theme of some sort for 2021/2022 before either of those two inhibiting factors come onto the scene. If such a theme were successful, 2023's Space subtheme for City could take the earthbound Spaceport route to avoid conflicting with future waves of this playtheme (depending on what shape it takes); otherwise, if weren't to live beyond a single wave within its debut year, that next iteration of "City in Space" could continue on towards the next frontier beyond Mars (or at least back to the Moon). :shrug_oh_well:

Lego could possibly... if such a theme... could take... could continue... I find so disheartening that, given all those hypotheses, we basically have to wait an interlude between Star Wars movies, in order to have a release of a new Space theme. But only maybe, let's not fantasize too much, heaven forbid.

 

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, astral brick said:

It is light sci-fi because we were not able to get back to the moon in over 50 years, imagine going to Mars.

I've previously described how much this year's City line resembles the Space sets I wanted as a kid.  Inasmuch as most of them have immediately identifiable real-world inspirations (even if those inspirations are not yet operational), I personally think they fit better under the City banner than they would as a separate Space theme with more sci-fi trappings.  60227 and 60228, for instance, explicitly identify themselves as models of a rocket and a space station that are actively under development with the intent to launch within the next couple of years.  It's true that 60224 and 60226 are more like light sci-fi zippy spaceships, but the set designers had to do something at the $10 price point and they had to do some form of "space shuttle" without rehashing the NASA-Rockwell STS, so I'll give them a pass on those.

Quote

My curiosity of what exactly? As I said the last Lego City sets show nice models that, with some modifications, could be - or, better said, should be - part of a new Space line, their natural positioning. However Space fans are supposed to be happy with some Ninjago and Super Heroes aircrafts or Lego Movie spacecrafts and, of course, umpteenth replicas of Star Wars vehicles. Nothing wrong with those sets - actually, for instance, I love the fist shaped spaceship - however leftovers, weak echos of Space themes' former glories.  

Please describe exactly how you would modify the 2019 City lineup to make it work as a "true" Space line, rather than a subtheme of City, since that's their "natural positioning"?

Quote

Maybe because these themes represent the backbone of Lego? Perhaps, on a business perspective, because they should always be available on store shelves in order to be potentially bought both by newcomers and old customers, thus doubling the incomes?

Space, Castle, and Pirates represented the backbone of Lego in the 1980s and early 1990s.  They do not anymore, and from a business perspective Lego is doing just fine.

Quote

Because flying towards the stars, preferably not while fighting a war, has always been the ultimate mankind dream.

While we space buffs would like to think that humanity's ultimate dream has always been flying to the stars, there's not a lot of documentary evidence for that.  The language for interplanetary and interstellar travel only really developed over the last 150 years.  If we're talking about the ultimate dreams of humankind, as recorded over thousands of years of history, we ought to be hoping for sets based on the ancient mythology of Greece, Rome, Egypt, Mesopotamia, India, and China.  (Many AFOLs do hope for such a line, someday!)  But that would go in a different forum.

Edited by icm

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6 hours ago, astral brick said:

It is light sci-fi because we were not able to get back to the moon in over 50 years, imagine going to Mars.

That's the thing, though — for the most part, the sets don't depict "going to Mars", they depict preparing to go to Mars. Which is something that space agencies are already working on and have been for years now. LEGO City is a modern-day theme, and to continue focusing only on spaceflight milestones achieved decades ago like sending rockets, satellites, or shuttles into orbit would mean failing to keep pace with modern advances in human spaceflight.

Plus, is it really so far-fetched to imagine achieving a goal we've been working at for so long now? Where's that proverbial "ability to dream" you were just speaking so highly of?

6 hours ago, astral brick said:

My curiosity of what exactly? As I said the last Lego City sets show nice models that, with some modifications, could be - or, better said, should be - part of a new Space line, their natural positioning. However Space fans are supposed to be happy with some Ninjago and Super Heroes aircrafts or Lego Movie spacecrafts and, of course, umpteenth replicas of Star Wars vehicles. Nothing wrong with those sets - actually, for instance, I love the fist shaped spaceship - however leftovers, weak echos of Space themes' former glories.

Nobody's saying you have to be happy about this stuff. But it's extremely arrogant to act as if LEGO's "ability to dream" is contingent on whether they make YOU happy. What of the many kids and adults who have been enjoying imaginative themes like LEGO Ninjago or The LEGO Movie 2 or LEGO Nexo Knights or LEGO Elves? Does their happiness not count for anything?

6 hours ago, astral brick said:

Maybe because these themes represent the backbone of Lego?

As @icm points out, these might have been the backbone of LEGO 20 or 30 years ago. That doesn't mean that they always will be, or that they always should be.

Right now, themes like LEGO Ninjago and LEGO Friends are massively successful and popular and have been for nearly a decade. And truthfully, there's no reason to think they wouldn't have been just as popular as 80s and 90s Space, Castle, and Pirates themes if they'd been around during that time, when brands like Polly Pocket, Strawberry Shortcake, Littlest Pet Shop, Voltron, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Power Rangers were all the rage.

Including Pirates among those themes which represent the "backbone of LEGO" reveals just how much this hierarchical thinking is driven by nostalgia rather than any objective sense of what LEGO's success and values were built on. LEGO managed to do just fine without a Pirates theme for over a decade after the introduction of the minifigure. And when the Pirates theme did come out, it only lasted nine consecutive years before entering a lengthy hiatus.

The only reason that Pirates, Castle, Space, and Town are treated as sharing equal and unparalleled importance to the LEGO brand is that they happened to be the core System play themes for a few years in the 1990s, during the infancy of the AFOL community, and many AFOLs (and KFOLs of that generation) came to assume that was the natural state of things.

But needless to say, the fact that LEGO has not only survived but THRIVED in years when one or more of these themes were absent should be enough to show that the LEGO brand and the lasting appeal of LEGO creative building and play are not as eternally dependent on these classic product lines as many of those who grew up with them wish to believe.

7 hours ago, astral brick said:

Perhaps, on a business perspective, because they should always be available on store shelves in order to be potentially bought both by newcomers and old customers, thus doubling the incomes?

The notion that LEGO would "double the incomes" by constantly maintaining these themes is extremely presumptuous… Let's run down all the assumptions it entails:

  • …that adults would ever buy LEGO in the same numbers as kids, despite LEGO having ALWAYS been aimed at and preferred by kids,
  • …that adults in general have more enthusiasm for LEGO Space, Castle, and Pirates than they do for licensed themes or even other in-house themes,
  • …and that kids would be as anywhere near as enthusiastic for Castle, Space, and Pirates as they are for LEGO's current top themes.

Frankly, just looking at history should be enough to reveal how little this claim has going for it besides wishful thinking. The last time LEGO had active Castle, Pirates, and Space themes at the same time was 2009. That year, LEGO reported DKK 11,661 million in revenue and DKK 2,204 million in profits. The full annual report for that year listed the year's most successful themes as Duplo, City, Creator, and Star Wars, with LEGO Power Miners and LEGO Games also generating "significantly higher sales than expected".

Pirates and Space Police, which launched that same year, didn't even warrant a mention. Nor have any in-house Castle, Pirates, or Space themes in any of the years since. What the subsequent LEGO annual and interim reports HAVE mentioned is that:

  • "LEGO Ninjago, which is a combination of traditional building sets and so-called spinners launched at the beginning of 2011, exceeded expectations and was the biggest product launch in company history."
     
  • "During (the LEGO Friends theme's) first year on the market, the product line has proved a huge success, and in spite of a considerable increase of production capacity on this particular line during the year, the very strong demand could not fully be met."
     
  • "LEGO Ninjago which was launched in 2011 continued its popularity in 2012 as the third largest product line in the portfolio."
     
  • "LEGO® Friends that was launched in 2012 and LEGO® Chima that was launched at the beginning of 2013 added the most to sales growth in 2013."

By comparison, last year, when neither Castle, Pirates, or Space were active (at least, not in any capacity AFOLs were willing to accept as "true" incarnations of those themes), LEGO reported DKK 36,391 million in revenue and DKK 8,076 million in profits. The most successful themes for 2018 according to the annual report were City, Technic, Star Wars, Friends, and Ninjago, with additional mention given to the strong performance of Harry Potter, Jurassic World, Classic, and Creator.

And mind you, none of this is to say that I don't think there's any place for LEGO Space, Castle, or Pirates going forward. Frankly, I expect them to keep coming back again and again, and I am hopeful that when they do so it will be with huge improvements over what we've seen from them in the past.

But what place there is for them in LEGO's portfolio is whatever place they are able to EARN via their actual sales performance. They are not entitled to perpetual top-tier status just because they were massively important to LEGO's bottom line many years ago, any more than other massively successful themes from years past like Bionicle and Harry Potter.

It's possible that these classic themes might be able to one day make a comeback that earns them a place among the top sellers. And it would be quite exciting if they did! But they have not managed to achieve that in over a decade, let alone managed to advance the LEGO Group's overall popularity and revenues to anywhere near the same extent that the current top sellers have done.

6 hours ago, astral brick said:

Because flying towards the stars, preferably not while fighting a war, has always been the ultimate mankind dream.

That's a fairly short-sighted viewpoint. The idea of spaceflight was scarcely treated as a serious objective or possibility prior to the middle of the 19th century. Most stories of space travel before that time were presented as fantasy, mythology, and/or satire.

It would probably be more accurate to say that the "ultimate mankind dream" for the majority of recorded human history (particularly in all periods prior to the Industrial Revolution) has been conquering death/achieving immortality.

3 hours ago, icm said:

It's true that 60224 and 60226 are more like light sci-fi zippy spaceships, but the set designers had to do something at the $10 price point and they had to do some form of "space shuttle" without rehashing the NASA-Rockwell STS, so I'll give them a pass on those.

I suspect that these sets are based on spaceplanes that are actively in development or testing like the [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dream_Chaser]Dream Chaser[/url], which is on schedule to make its first flight in the next couple years.

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I'm not trying to mini-mod here, but meme posts generally Aren't Done on Eurobricks.  You may disagree with what Aanchir says, but please note that all of Aanchir's posts are clear and courteous, and they generally include some attempt to discuss things on a level beyond simple, idiosyncratic, personal preference and taste.  We don't all have to write responses of the length typical of Aanchir every time, but we should at least try to have a meaningful conversation, without memetically reducing each other's viewpoints to "Lego is the best company ever!" or, well, any number of demeaning reductions of the viewpoints you've expressed.  Please, how WOULD you change this year's City space line to become a "true" Space line?

Aanchir - that's a reasonable inference. I've already noted (to myself) a reasonably strong resemblance (for Lego City) between 60078 from 2015 and the 1980s-era Hermes space plane concept, as well as between the space planes in 60227 and 60229 and Dream Chaser.  The match in those two sets is stronger than the match in 60224 because they're both capable of launching on a rocket and docking with the space station, like Dream Chaser, whereas 60224 is incompatible with the docking standard and comes with no context for launch; I think kids and parents are more likely to see it on the shelves as just a zippy spaceship without that context.  There's nothing wrong with that, of course - 60227 and 60229 are meant to be swooshed wherever a child's imagination may take them, too - but it does place 60224 slightly farther from Today on the scale of realism.  Likewise, 60226 is clearly not trying to depict the real Space Shuttle, and it explicitly encourages kids to swoosh it all the way to Mars, which the real Shuttle definitely Could Not Do.  That also makes it more of a Zippy Spaceship from science fiction.  But it doesn't really matter.  I don't mind seeing either 60224 or 60226 sold under the City banner.

Overall, I think the whole line is a splendid representation, in Lego, of my dreams as a kid in an aspirational way, as opposed to the fantastic or escapist ways that traditional Space themes like Galaxy Squad represent childhood daydreams in Lego form.

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1d41d2c0320afcea0e18c7acfa79326b.jpg

 

 

This line is waaaaay too close to home to be 'true' Space (as in, under the same umbrella as previous Space releases). Space sub-themes used to be about deep space and the great unknown, a far off fantasy that could never happen in our lifetime or the next. This is just mild 'science-semi-fiction', something that could easily mostly be real next year. (Not putting it down, just differentiating.)

To change these sets into "Space" you may as well clean the slate and start them again right from the beginning - with the other mindset.

 

It's like TLG is offering Darth Vader Licorice flavoured ice cream (Star Wars theme) or chocolate yoghurt/custard/something (Thinking About Planning To Suggest Ideas For Designing Technology For Potentially Going To Mars theme), when Space is actually chocolate ice cream.

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12 hours ago, Artanis I said:

Space sub-themes used to be about deep space and the great unknown, a far off fantasy that could never happen in our lifetime or the next.

Exactly. This is why I believe that #70831 Emmet's Dream House is exactly that: It will >never< happen in our lifetime or the next. The conversion of a dream house into a space compatible dream house. It is radical and beautiful. Different. Not seen before. No grey-blue-trans-yellow - but all deep space. Plus: it has weapons as well. OK, which I "transformed" to paint filled bullets/rockets. As Oddball says in "Kelly's Heroes": "... We got our own ammunition, it's filled with paint. When we fire it, it makes... pretty pictures. Scares the hell outta people!". I simply don't like weapons, that's all. Thing is: For me, this set is totally space.

Best
Thorsten

 

   

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News for your Space wants. The CMF series 19 sheet has leaked. There's a scifi fig, possibly a bounty hunter, that looks like he/she has the three triangles Blacktron insignia.

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3 hours ago, gedren_y said:

There's a scifi fig, possibly a bounty hunter, that looks like he/she has the three triangles Blacktron insignia.

The CMF also looks to have a slick-looking Black recolor of the newer Ant-Man helmet introduced this year. :thumbup: :smug:

6261635

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4 hours ago, Toastie said:

Exactly. This is why I believe that #70831 Emmet's Dream House is exactly that: It will >never< happen in our lifetime or the next. The conversion of a dream house into a space compatible dream house. It is radical and beautiful. Different. Not seen before. No grey-blue-trans-yellow - but all deep space. Plus: it has weapons as well. OK, which I "transformed" to paint filled bullets/rockets. As Oddball says in "Kelly's Heroes": "... We got our own ammunition, it's filled with paint. When we fire it, it makes... pretty pictures. Scares the hell outta people!". I simply don't like weapons, that's all. Thing is: For me, this set is totally space.

Best
Thorsten

Truthfully, if you wanted to find a way to make laser-equipped spaceships suitable for a peaceful setting, you could simply make them non-weaponized lasers for clearing away space debris…

(much like the "glassteroids" Emmet got pummeled by in the movie)

That was definitely how I interpreted at least some of the "lasers" in space themes of my childhood like Exploriens — tools for excavation and/or debris clearing. Not that I was opposed to more violent conflicts in the stories my brother and I played out (our LEGO pirates and Wild West soldiers had guns, swords, and cannons, after all!), but the Exploriens in particular didn't have any obvious reason to fight anyone, since they were presented as fossil-hunters and I didn't see anything about what they were up to in deep space that the Spyrians would care much about except maybe stealing their droids.

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On ‎7‎/‎23‎/‎2019 at 4:17 AM, Aanchir said:

Truthfully, if you wanted to find a way to make laser-equipped spaceships suitable for a peaceful setting, you could simply make them non-weaponized lasers for clearing away space debris…

Dear @Aanchir

thank you very much for your suggestion: Implemented! Emmet's transformed house has two kinds of weapons though: The laser type (which is now a "clearing away debris device") and the bullet type. I like the idea of firing paint bullets ... as they make pretty pictures:sweet:. (When graduating from high school there were two really appealing routes for me: Art or chemistry. I took the latter but never lost contact to the former. With regard to your suggestion and the theme of this thread: Should the laser not work, I'd be happy to give it a "bullet of paint" try ...)

Thanks again (very much) and all the best,
Thorsten  

 

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On 7/19/2019 at 4:39 AM, MAB said:

Why does Space have to be sci-fi though? With current interest in space missions and the 50th anniversary of the moon landing and so on, if anything there is a strong impetus behind space being more science fact than science fiction.

The occasional crossover between City and Space is all well and good, but it's Space that people here want.  That's typically science fiction.  And while other types of science and fiction are great, real space science fiction is what most Space fans crave.  I'd say ideally somewhere between Star Trek and Star Wars, but neither specifically.

On 7/22/2019 at 5:01 AM, Artanis I said:

This line is waaaaay too close to home to be 'true' Space (as in, under the same umbrella as previous Space releases). Space sub-themes used to be about deep space and the great unknown, a far off fantasy that could never happen in our lifetime or the next. This is just mild 'science-semi-fiction', something that could easily mostly be real next year. (Not putting it down, just differentiating.)

To change these sets into "Space" you may as well clean the slate and start them again right from the beginning - with the other mindset.

It's like TLG is offering Darth Vader Licorice flavoured ice cream (Star Wars theme) or chocolate yoghurt/custard/something (Thinking About Planning To Suggest Ideas For Designing Technology For Potentially Going To Mars theme), when Space is actually chocolate ice cream.

Agreed, and nicely put!

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Posted (edited)

I began playing with Lego near the end of the Classic Space era.  Twin Starfire and Intergalactic Command Base are my earliest memories of assembling Lego sets.  While I was not as prolific a collector as some of my childhood friends, I did consistently buy many of the smaller space vehicles during the period spanning Futuron through Spyrius.  

What I miss most about the Classic Space era is that it actually required a lot of imagination and encouraged expansion. 

For example, look at the Intergalactic Command Base.  It's a volumetrically large structure, but only a bit more than 300 pieces, and much of it is unused space.  While there's a lot going on: a rocket launch facility, spaceship launcher, and hover vehicle, the builder seems to be almost enticed to add things.  That's what I did.  I built rooms on the empty ground level where the support pylons are located.  I added more computers, places to sit, and equipment racks to the main deck and control room.  When what I wanted to do outgrew the basic structure, I demolished the whole thing and re-built a new Space HQ MOC by combining pieces of the base with elements from other Classic series sets.  

A few years later, I was very fortunate to receive a Blacktron II Alpha Centauri Outpost as a gift.  Again, this is an imposing structure that is mostly empty.  This set too, turned into a sprawling, crazy MOC with a Space Traffic Control tower, starship maintenance facility (complete with gantries and catwalks for workers to bring welding equipment and replacement parts), and strategy room for plotting exploration or military campaigns in deep space. 

I do not mind themes like Star Wars and Ninjago.  I own several Star Wars Lego sets, but they are in no way a replacement for the "classic" Space themes.  Star Wars and Ninjago already have a story written for them, and the sets are often so intricate and complete, that they feel more like display models to me than imaginative toys.  I watched a YouTube video review of Ninjago City, for example, and it is delightful in its detail and clever features, but I don't feel compelled to modify or expand it.  The same goes for the many variations of the Millennium Falcon.  It would almost feel like smudging someone else's finished painting!  

Sets from The Lego Movie and The Lego Movie 2 probably come closest in spirit to the sets of the classic Space era.  Yes, there's a story to TLM, but it is one of continuous evolution, destruction, rebuilding, and creativity.  A huge number of the vehicles and buildings in those movies are modified, blown up, cobbled together into something different, or combined across themes.  The whole franchise encourages creative endeavors. 

That's my 2 bricks on the subject.  Sometimes, less is more.  Classic Space sets often had a lot fewer bricks than SciFi sets today, but the relative simplicity of classic Space encouraged the builder to put more of themselves into modding and creating. 

Edited by hagridshut

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On 7/19/2019 at 5:01 PM, Toastie said:

I took Emmet's dream house (converted to the space house) and ... made it twice the size in length and a little wider (only 2 studs ...). Added a comfortable bed, a shower, a kitchen, a bathroom, a door. Raised the walls a little. Kept the original look and feel as much as possible. Not done yet, but you know what? I'll depart comfortably to - the Moon. Or Mars. Or ... to a galaxy far, far away. And most certainly: >Way< beyond that :classic:

What I am trying to say is: This set simply made me jump back to space. I still do have the grey/blue/trans yellow sets for sure. But: I love what I can do - space wise - with what is available today.

All the best,
Thorsten

  

Emmet's Dream House/Rescue Rocket is a great space set.  I bought the set awhile ago and built the House model, which I liked so much that I kept it built as the House for a few weeks.  I felt a bit sorry disassembling the House to build the Rescue Rocket, but after finishing the build, I am very impressed with this space ship. 

It has a very "Jules Verne" and "Steampunk" feel, with all the pipes (both interior and exterior) and engine pods attached to the house structure.  The rear maneuvering fins also reminded me of the Protoss Carrier from the 90's video game StarCraft.   I've kept my build in mostly stock form, although I added some food "provisions" to the attic, and I'm also thinking about adding some EVA gear: space helmet and tank (blue for Emmet and black for Lucy). 
 

On 7/24/2019 at 5:57 PM, Toastie said:

Emmet's transformed house has two kinds of weapons though: The laser type (which is now a "clearing away debris device") and the bullet type.

The "torpedo" launcher fired what appear to be Belgian waffles in the movie.  The waffles were not very effective against the asteroids in the Stair Gate.  :laugh:

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22 hours ago, hagridshut said:

t has a very "Jules Verne" and "Steampunk" feel, with all the pipes (both interior and exterior) and engine pods attached to the house structure.  The rear maneuvering fins also reminded me of the Protoss Carrier from the 90's video game StarCraft.

I totally agree.

It is so nice that somebody else is sharing my "feelings". Thank you very much @hagridshut for your comment!

All the very best,
Thorsten 

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3 hours ago, Toastie said:

I totally agree.

It is so nice that somebody else is sharing my "feelings". Thank you very much @hagridshut for your comment!

All the very best,
Thorsten 

Anytime @Toastie!  Always good to talk to another Space enthusiast :classic:

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I miss true original space theme so much. I don't buy Star Wars - not that I don't like the franchise -  I do like it very much, but not in the Lego form. I just don't see any interest in getting SW display models. The great thing for me when I was a child was to get a new Lego catalog and see what they have come up with this year. It just seemed fresh and new. I have the same feeling today when I'm seeing new sets in other themes, even as mundane as City subthemes like Fire, Police, etc. With Star Wars when I see new sets I get the feeling - ah OK, so they built this ship again, or they recreated the scene from a movie. Nothing is new because it is based on what I have already seen.

However (and even taking into account that we don't have Castle and we don't have Pirates) I feel like the present day Lego is probably even in a better era than it was in the 80-90s. Yes, I miss those old classic themes a lot, but my current wishlist is already so long and hitting my wallet so much, that from some perspective I'm even happy that there is no new Space Sci-Fi on the horizon. I mean look all those incredible creator expert and ideas sets we are enjoying right now. This is something we haven't even dreamed about in 80-90s. I will still wait for that day when true, original space will come back - but while waiting - there is still quite a few sets to buy.

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